It is hard to believe we are halfway through the 2017-18 school year. With the school year getting off to an unexpected start with Hurricane Irma, I continue to be encouraged by the achievement I see happening in our schools. I cannot wait for us to continue the school year #CCPSStrong and see what we accomplish together.

    Looking back to September, Hurricane Irma definitely left its mark on Collier County. In the days leading up to the hurricane, the district began storm preparations. By the time the storm hit, we opened 29 schools as shelters. In the past, CCPS has never opened more than 10 schools. The district provided shelter to more than 17,000 guests—some schools even opened as pet-friendly shelters. In the weeks following Irma, I was astounded by the outpouring of support for our schools and students. While we still continue to feel the effects of the storm in some areas, I want to sincerely thank all who helped and continue to help in any way.

    As we rounded out the first half of the year, the district held its 3rd Annual CCPS 5K Walk/Run in December. This event was a phenomenal success with nearly 2,000 people registered for the race, which has continued to outpace previous CCPS 5K events. Plus, once again, we had 100% participation from our 50 schools. It is always a fantastic morning, promoting health and wellness in our schools. A big thank you to our Power Sponsor, Suncoast Credit Union, and all of our event sponsors.

    Recently, CCPS hosted its 7th Annual CCPS STEAM Conference. It is incredible to see how this event has grown over the years. We had a great turnout with more than 1,800 participants enjoy a morning of hands-on STEAM fun. From the opening session to the numerous presentation booths, it is one of my favorite events we host. Thank you to our students, parents, staff, and community members who attended.

    I continue to be encouraged by the growth in student achievement. In January, the Florida Department of Education released high school graduation rates from the 2016-17 school year showing Collier County at 88.2%. That is up 1.5 percentage points from last year and 15.7 percentage points overall in the past six years. This is a testament to our amazing teachers, staff, parents, and community. Your dedication and support is unwavering. I cannot express enough how proud I am.

    Looking forward, the second half of the school year is always full of exciting activities, or as I like to call it, academic competition season! Whether it is at an elementary, middle, or high school level, there are tons of great events for our students. In addition to the STEAM Competition, I am looking forward to the middle and high school Scholar Bowl Tournament, Odyssey of the Mind competition, Elementary Math Challenge, and the Middle School Math Challenge just to name a few.

    I cannot wait to see what the rest of the school year has in store for us. Thank you for your continued support of CCPS!


    Kamela Patton

    Dr. Kamela Patton

    Tel (239) 377-0001